Louise ISD Superintendent Garth Oliver had high hopes for virtual learning when the school year began in his tiny school district just southwest of El Campo.
About 30 percent of his roughly 530 students had opted to learn online, and teachers spent most of summer reconfiguring instructional models and lesson plans to accommodate those who did not want to return to campuses on Aug. 19. However, once the school year began, it became clear many of the remote learners were logging on but not participating.
“I don’t think (Texas Education) Commissioner Mike Morath expected kids would sign in and do nothing. We didn’t expect it either, but that’s what was happening,” Oliver said. “Our kids were doing so poorly we said, ‘We can’t continue to allow our kids to not get their education.’”
Oliver ultimately decided to cancel the district’s virtual learning program all together, telling Louise ISD students and